A lip smacking Schezwan Vegetable is a perfect blend of sweet, spicy and sour flavors, one of the best Indo chinese recipe it is. The recipe is partly adapted from Nita Mehta Recipes, and partly inspired by the flavors that I can recall from the dish that we tasted at a Chinese Bistro . The spiciness of chillies is perfectly balanced with the tartness of tomatoes and vinegar and subtle sweetness provided by honey. We loved it with the Veg. Fried rice and fried noodles (Noodles parboiled and fried till golden brown) that added a nice crunch to the wholesome meal.
Vegetable stock is a crucial ingredient in all Chinese dishes or else the end result will turn to be a bland or with unbalanced flavors. Do not skip the veg. stock or try to substitute it with Veg. stock cubes available in market. Make your own stock, I insist
For vegetable stock:
- Cauliflower chopped ½ cup
- Cabbage chunks ¼ cup
- Carrot chopped 1
- French Beans 3 chopped
- Fresh button mushrooms 3 , chopped
- Cloves (Laung) 2
- Onion diced 1 small
- Spinach leaves 2-3
- Water 4 cups
- Garlic cloves peeled 2
- Oil 1tsp
Vegetables needed for Schezwan Veg.
- Carrot 1
- Broccoli 3-4 florets (Do NOT use cauliflower if Broccoli is not available. Just Skip it)
- French Beans 8
- Onion 1
- Baby corns 4
- Zucchini (or Cucumber if Zucchini is not available) 1
- Spinach leaves 5-6
- Tomato 1 large
- Capsicum 1
Ingredients for the Sauce:
- Ginger ½ inch crushed
- Garlic 4 -5 cloves Crushed/grated
- Hoisin Sauce 1 tsp (Optional)
- Chinese Schezwan/ Red / green chili sauce 2 tsp OR Use red chili powder 1/2 tsp and 1 chopped green chilly and 1 dried red chilly
- 2 tsp Soya sauce
- Vinegar 1 ½ tsp
- Honey ( More or less) 11/2 tsp
- Tomato Ketchup 1tbsp
- Salt as per taste
- Black or white pepper powder ¼ tsp
- Water 1/2 cup
- 2 tbsp Oil
- Corn flour 2 heaped Tbsp (More or less) mixed with 1/4 cup water
- Scallions or Spring onion to garnish
- Veg Fried rice or Fried noodles to serve with.
- To make Vegetable Sauce, rinse well and chop the vegetables.
- Take 1tsp oil in a pan and saute the cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, carrot, french beans and mushrooms for a minute. Add garlic, laung and 4 cups of water and let it boil. Simmer till water is reduced to half. Alternatively you can use pressure cooker to speed up the process. Strain and reserve the liquid.This is our 2 cups of vegetable stock.
- For Schezwan/Sichuan Vegetable, peel and slice the carrots. Separate the broccoli florets, chop the french beans in slants of 1 inch . Cut the babycorns, tip off the thick stems of spinach, dice the capsicum, slice the zucchini along with skin, peel and cut the onion into quarters, and then halve each of the quarter further. Chop the tomato too.
- Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients listed under ‘Ingredients For Sauce‘.
- Now in a wok or thick bottomed pan, take 2 tbsp of oil and heat it. Add onions and saute till translucent. Add broccoli, carrots, French beans and babycorn and cook for two minutes on high flame. Add a pinch of salt or so.
- Just toss Zucchini or cucumber and Capsicum and immediately add sauce that you have mixed in the bowl.
- Add the vegetable stock and mix everything gently. Add the cornflour paste ( that you have made by mixing cornflour with water). Let the mixture comes to a boil. Simmer for a while till the gravy thickens. Taste at this stage to adjust salt and seasonings.Since there is enough salt in different sauces used, its better to add salt in final stages. You can add more cornflour paste if the gravy looks thinner even after 2 minutes or so. Do not overcook.
- Garnish with chopped scallions or spring onions and serve with either Veg fried rice or Noodles. (Hakka Noodles or Fried noodles).